DLA Piper and Unicef have been working together for many years, but in 2013 we entered a groundbreaking new phase with the establishment of a global partnership aimed at strengthening the protection of children around the world.
Through the partnership so far, DLA Piper has contributed £1.8 million through a combination of employee fundraising and corporate donations and provided pro bono support estimated at a value of over £5 million.
Protecting children from danger
From 2013 to 2016 DLA Piper supported Unicef’s child justice work in Bangladesh, striving to ensure that children experience a justice system that is fair and protects their rights. This vital support has:
- Provided education, training and counselling for 1,600 adolescents at risk of coming into contact with the law
- Ensured that 234 children arrested by police have had their cases handled in the community rather than through the judicial system
- Trained 424 key professionals including police officers and lawyers on child friendly justice and the 2013 Children’s Act
In 2017, the partnership entered a new phase supporting Unicef’s child protection work globally. Child protection is a vital yet often underfunded area of Unicef’s work because it is complex and requires long-term support to create systemic change in attitudes and behaviour. With the support of DLA Piper, Unicef will be able to continue our vital work so that children around the world can go to school instead of work, avoid child marriage, and be safe in their communities.
Pro bono support globally
DLA Piper has provided 27,000 pro bono hours to support Unicef, with lawyers from across 43 DLA Piper offices globally supporting 27 UNICEF offices on a wide range of issues including child marriage, birth registration, transitional justice and international child protection standards. The time, expertise and commitment DLA lawyers have demonstrated in all the work they have undertaken has been instrumental in the positive impact Unicef has been able to continue to have on protecting children’s rights worldwide.
Projects have included:
- Supporting the implementation of the 2013 Children’s Act in Bangladesh helping to ensure children have access to a justice system that is fair and protects their rights
- Increasing technical assistance to the government in The Gambia on child marriage and FGM/C advocating for laws in the child’s best interests
- Reviewing birth registration legislation in 23 jurisdictions to help Unicef advocate for 230 million children whose births are unregistered, allowing them access to identity documentation and education, protecting them from child marriage, trafficking and exploitation
As a result of DLA Piper’s dedication across their firm globally, we are able to build a safer world for some of the most vulnerable children.